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A purchases a ticket to watch a Major League Soccer game live, at a stadium in her home town. A has front row seats for the game, just behind one of the two goals. During the game, the best and most powerful striker on the field, B, takes a shot towards the opposing team’s goal. This goal happens to be the goal behind which A is watching the game from a short distance away. The ball, traveling at 70 miles per hour, misses the goal and hits A in the head. A loses consciousness and collapses, striking her head on the concrete stadium floor and suffering a serious concussion. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that causes a temporary loss of neurological function and may, in some cases, cause death.
A is immediately rushed to the emergency room in an ambulance. Because A is in critical condition, the ambulance drives at high speeds towards the emergency room, running red lights and speeding through busy intersections. When the ambulance arrives at the hospital, the emergency medical technicians (EMTs) rush to unload A from the ambulance. During the unloading process, one of the EMTs slips and drops A on the floor. Assume that the EMT’s actions amount to simple negligence, but not gross negligence.
Due to the drop, A hits her head on the concrete floor, causing a “second impact syndrome.” This is a fatal swelling of the brain, which can occur if a concussion victim suffers a second head trauma too soon after the trauma that initially caused a concussion. A dies.
Assume the prosecution could prove the above facts at B’s trial for homicide.
Applying common-law rules, did B cause A’s death? Explain, focusing solely on the issue of causation, but do not analyze B’s ultimate liability for homicide.